Monday, July 18, 2016

deGrom And Mets Dominate Phillies In 1 Hit Effort

GAME RECAP: Mets Silence Phillies 5-0

The Mets arrived in Philadelphia closer in the National League East standings to the fourth-place Phillies than the first-place Nationals, desperate for a series win. Jacob deGrom delivered just that in a 5-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies' lone hit came off the bat of deGrom's counterpart, Zach Eflin, who ripped a single up the middle in the third. But for the eight batters prior and 19 batters after, deGrom didn't allow another base knock. He became the first Mets pitcher to toss a one-hit shutout since R.A. Dickey struck out 13 Orioles on June 18, 2012. Before Sunday, there had been four one-hit shutouts in which the opposing pitcher had the only hit in Mets history. The most recent also came against Philadelphia, when Cole Hamels singled off Dickey in a 1-0 Mets win on Aug. 13, 2010. "Probably since we came out of Spring Training [deGrom has been building to this]," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "There was all that concern about his velocity early, but he's just gotten a little stronger and a little stronger. … You saw better command today and probably the best sinker he had all year." It was the first time the Phillies have been held to one hit since Sept. 15, 2015, when the Nationals' Stephen Strasburg silenced them with 14 strikeouts. deGrom didn't quite match Strasburg, punching out seven Phillies, but flirted with a Greg Maddux -- a complete game on fewer than 100 pitches -- ultimately recording his first career complete game on 105 pitches. "Command of his pitches, changed speeds, worked fast, he did everything you want your pitchers to do," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of deGrom. Mackanin opened the second half by remarking that his team is shooting for an NL Wild Card spot, but the series loss to the Mets drops them seven back in that race. "It's gonna be important," Collins said. "We know going to Chicago, it's going to be a dogfight there. Same thing in Miami. … Just continue on."

  • Eflin, the Phillies' rookie right-hander, had his fifth straight quality start on Sunday, giving up three runs on five hits in six innings. The five hits were the most Eflin has allowed since his forgettable MLB debut in Toronto (eight earned runs in 2 2/3 innings), and three of those hits went for extra bases. Eflin limited the damage by getting Neil Walker to ground out with the bases loaded to end the fifth. "He didn't have his 'A' game, but he gave us a chance to win," Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp said. "He was a little bit up in the zone, fell behind some hitters, and when he went up 0-2, he couldn't put them away."
  • Phillies All-Star Odubel Herrera has enjoyed success this season while facing the Marlins, batting .364 (8-for-23).
  • Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton is just 1-for-18 (.056) with a home run and 12 strikeouts this season against the Phillies. Lifetime at Citizens Bank Park, he has 10 homers in 39 games.
  • The Marlins gave center fielder Marcell Ozuna a breather on Sunday at St. Louis. Ozuna, who started for the NL in the All-Star Game, has two home runs and four RBIs vs. Philadelphia.

Positioning in the National League East is at stake when the Marlins open a four-game series at the Phillies on Monday at Citizens Bank Park. Miami is in the thick of the NL Wild Card race and aiming to gain ground on the division-leading Nationals, while Philadelphia hopes to climb into Wild Card contention. The Marlins will turn to ace Jose Fernandez to kick off the four-game set. The Phillies counter with promising right-hander Aaron Nola, who will make just his second start of the month. Fernandez, starting for the first time since Tuesday's All-Star Game, has been among the hottest pitchers in the NL. In his last 11 starts, the hard-throwing right-hander is 8-2 with a 1.71 ERA and 107 strikeouts in 73 2/3 innings. Nola, who last pitched on July 2 against the Royals, is 0-4 since his last win on June 5. At home, he is 2-6 with a 5.28 ERA.


Resuscitated Quality Start – Zach Eflin had a good idea of Jacob deGrom's mindset Sunday. "Outings like that, they feed off momentum," said Eflin, who threw a complete game against the Braves earlier in the month. Eflin was the only Phillie that was able to disrupt deGrom in their 5-0 loss to the Mets on Sunday. The 22-year-old's third-inning single was his team's only hit of the afternoon, as deGrom was dominant in his first career complete game. Eflin, meanwhile, could not find his groove, but he didn't let that stop him from turning in his fifth consecutive quality start. The Phillies' right-hander made his fair share of mistakes -- leaving balls up in the zone and not finishing once he got ahead in counts. But Eflin never allowed more than one run in an inning, yielding three earned on five hits in six frames. "I think I did a good job of limiting the damage when I needed to, but I know I left some balls up that shouldn't have been up," he said. "I didn't have my best stuff today, but I was able to battle." Eflin now has a 2.56 ERA in his last six starts following a lousy debut in which he gave up eight earned runs to the Blue Jays in 2 2/3 innings on June 14. The five hits he allowed on Sunday were the most since his debut, and Eflin struggled both when he was up in the count and when there were two outs. Three of the Mets' five hits off Eflin were RBI extra-base hits with two outs. Juan Lagares got the scoring started with an RBI triple in the second, and Curtis Granderson made it 2-0 with a towering solo homer in the third. Both hitters turned 0-2 counts into full counts before driving in a run. "He made some mistakes," Phillies manager Pete Mackanin said of Eflin. "One of the things we have to address as a group is when we get hitters 0-2 or get ahead of hitters, we have to be able to put them away. We were having trouble doing that. The 0-2 count to Granderson went to 3-2, and he hit a home run off a mistake up in the zone." A Jose Reyes double made it 3-0 in the fifth inning, and Eflin followed it with back-to-back walks. A loss of command is rare for the rookie, who had given just two free passes in his previous 27 innings entering Sunday. But with the bases loaded, Eflin buckled down and got Neil Walker to ground out to end the threat. Eflin went back out and threw a 1-2-3 sixth inning to ensure a quality start. Eflin was not the star or his best self on Sunday, but he still showed why the Phillies hope he can be part of the rotation for the foreseeable future. "He's 22 years old in his first year at the big league level, and I really like him," Mackanin said. "He has a great future ahead of him. ... He made a few more mistakes than he probably should have, but he pitched a quality start."

I Got It! – Neil Walker popped up in the fourth inning of the Mets' 5-0 win over the Phillies on Sunday afternoon, sending the ball floating in between third base and shortstop. So, both Maikel Franco and Freddy Galvis went for it. But which one of them caught it? They're so accomplished at mimicking each other that it's nearly impossible to tell which one of them actually intended to reel in the ball. Franco, because he looked more at the ready? Or Galvis, who could've been sandbagging? Well, you have a 50-50 shot at guessing. This isn't a trick question, either. One of them caught it, and Walker was retired for the first out of the inning. The answer... Galvis, very casually. But honestly, it could've gone either way.

Today In Phils History – Despite surrendering 21 hits, the Phillies pulled off an 11 inning win over the Cubs in 1912 when Gavvy Cravath stole home as part of a double steal. A decade later, 11 year old Bob “Tuffy Reds” Cotter caught a foul ball and kept it rather than throwing it back which was common practice at the time resulting in him being arrests and sent to jail from which he was freed the next morning by a judge who stated that he was “following his most natural instincts” resulting in the Phillies becoming the 1st team with an official policy allowing fans to keep foul balls. In 1943, The Giants and Phillies strand a combined 30 base runners to set a new MLB record. In the 2nd game of a double header against St. Louis in 1954, the Phillies took a 8-1 lead in the 5th when the Cardinals began stalling in the hopes of preventing the game from becoming official before the Sunday curfew which was frowned upon by the umpires who declared the game a Phillies victory by forfeit. Despite being in 1st place at the time, Phillies GM Paul “The Pope” Owens fired Pat Corrales and took over the managerial duties, for the 2nd time, for the remainder of the 1983 season.

The Phillies are currently 43-50 this season putting them on pace to beat most preseason predictions. All time, the Phillies are 49-61-0 on this day. I expect the Phillies to finish in the bottom half of the division but not last in the NL East by finishing the season with a 77-85 record.

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